Want to take your criminal empire to the top? You need the right people with the best skills!

Getting Started Running a Thief Guild with Killers And Thieves

Want to take your criminal empire to the top? You need the right people with the best skills!

Ever wanted to be kingpin of your own medieval crime syndicate? Taking more of a birds-eye view approach than your typical stealth game, Killers And Thieves puts you in charge of the local guild of ne’er-do-wells.

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It’s up to you to recruit, maintain, and train a cadre of larcenous scum not above earning coin through some good old fashioned villainy. And this guide has some extra tips to help you out!

Killers And Thieves Basics

Every aspect of the game is about balancing risk vs. reward. Should you put a full four thieves onto a mission to get a 98% success rate, or should you keep a few available for other things like training, heists, and carousing to improve morale? Should you take your best thief on this heist, or leave them at headquarters in case things go sideways?

There are several ways to mitigate those risks and ensure you have the highest possibility of success in the early portions of the game.

Teach Your Thieves Knife Fighting

First and foremost, save up the five training points necessary to give a second thief the Knife Fighting skill. You’ll need more than one character with this skill fairly early on for several missions, but only Candle starts the game with that critical skill.

It’s a short and simple tip, but one that will make many of your heists go a lot more smoothly.

     If Candle is jailed or wounded without a backup fighter, you won’t get very far

Train High Stat Thieves Even Higher

Some thieves start with extremely high levels in one particular stat. You want to be focusing your training coins on these characters whenever possible.

For instance, it’s an extremely useful investment to focus on upgrading Candle’s Strength skill. She’s got the highest starting Strength by a mile, and due to a special skill, she never dies. If she falls in combat, instead she goes to jail or is simply wounded for a few days. There’s no reason not to make her a powerhouse tank capable of keeping your other thieves alive and out of jail in any given mission.

Eventually you will come across a mission that requires a skill or stat level that none of your current thieves have acquired. When this situation pops up, there are two main options, both of which require a time investment:

  • Option 1: Plant a thief or two in a tavern with the “recruitment” option to increase the number of potential killer recruits. With a thief on that job, continuously advance the day by clicking the gold wheel until a new recruit with the required skill shows up at your headquarters.
    • New recruits come available every 1-3 days in the lower-right square of your headquarters building.
  • Option 2: Instead of hiring someone with the skill, you can unlock it yourself. Left click anywhere on a district map to initiate your own custom heist where you can earn experience points. Be sure to stake out an area first before engaging in these custom heists to ensure the loot will be worth your time, and you know how many guards to expect.

 Assigning a thief to recruitment duty

Heists And Skill Load Outs

Essential Skills for Heists

Successful heists are rarely undertaken with a single thief alone. If you want everyone to make it out with a good haul, at least one character will need Knife Fighting and one will need Lock Picking — for saving captured thieves and accessing blocked areas, respectively.

From there, your skill choices are all about stealth and knowing what dangers lie ahead. You always want to know what’s in the room next to you so there isn’t a surprise encounter with a guard. Unless you have no other choice, you should pretty much always be sending thieves into houses with either the Vigilance or Eavesdrop skills.

Know When to Get the Hell Outta Dodge

While on the ground level, your thieves never draw attention unless they were previously spotted by a guard or shouted at by a commoner. Inside a building, though, being spotted means a chase will ensue or the guards will be called.

Each thief can only hide for a set amount of time, determined by skills and their Stealth stat. Pay attention to the eye that appears underneath a character – when it starts counting down, you are running out of hiding time. When it hits red, it’s time to high-tail it out of there and have that thief go back down the ladder to exit the level, as they will no longer be able to avoid guards or people wandering around buildings.

Watch Your Encumbrance

Besides the hide counter, keep an eye on the colored number on the upper left side when you click a character’s icon – if it hits yellow or red, your thief is carrying too much loot and will be less stealthy and move slower. To balance loot versus weight, you may want to avoid picking up loot that’s worth less money, or instead have your current thief nearing his weight capacity leave the mission and send in a different pickpocket.

The carry capacity counter needs to be monitored

Take Advantage of Weird Guard AI

Inside buildings, guards are based on line of sight, so be sure to close doors behind you. Guard behavior is also quite erratic. Sometimes they’ll wander around a single room, sometimes they’ll patrol in a loop, and sometimes they’ll just stand stock still.

That latter option can be quite problematic if you’ve got a thief hidden and the hide timer is ticking down. If that thief doesn’t have Knife Fighting, you are almost certain to get arrested.

Here’s where the rest of your team comes in. Have another thief get the guard’s attention and give chase. A thief with Knife Fighting is an obvious option, although you are then going to ensure a bigger guard presence on future heists.

There are plenty of other options to utilize, however, like Alchemy. This nifty skill lets a thief immediately go invisible for a very brief time and then continue running. This is perfect for distracting a guard that’s standing still, and then escaping without getting captured — giving your other hiding thief an opportunity to get back on the move.

Don’t discount the Acrobatic skill as another strong contender, either. Even if you are spotted, the guard can’t leap several stories to follow you or jump from window to window between buildings.

Choose Your Skills Wisely

When training for new skills, don’t forget a critical gameplay element – you can’t unlearn old skills! Three is the max, and when you hit it, that thief will have that skill load out forever. So you’ll want to plan ahead for situations like the ones mentioned above and make sure your thieves are more than prepared. 

Vigilance offers an excellent view of the surrounding rooms

Money Management

Running a guild is more than just evading the guards and looting homes. You’ve got to keep your ledgers balance as well!

Recruit Wisely

First and foremost, don’t just recruit a ton of thieves right off the bat — they all cost weekly upkeep in addition to a base price. Rather than keeping a bunch of thieves who aren’t frequently used, it’s better to have a steady, stable crew with the right load out of skills. From there, buy a backup or two to keep in place for when one dies or gets arrested, or when you need someone on stakeouts but everyone else is busy.

The skill, stats, and boons/drawbacks for every thief are randomized, so it’s cost effective to wait for a better recruit to appear than to buy one now with a serious drawback or low stats. 

Cash In After Heists

After a successful heist, always strive to sell items at the best locations for the best prices. Check the current conditions of the district through the icons in the upper-right corner to see what sells best in that area. 

Collect That Sweet Dough

Finally, don’t forget you have to actually collect your payments for stolen goods that are fenced through store fronts — it doesn’t just show up in your bank account automatically!

Goods sell for more in the Skardway, but it has a higher guard presence

Those are all the basics you need to know to get started. What other Killers And Thieves tips and tricks have you figured out that we should be trying? Let us know in the comments below, and happy heisting!

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Ty Arthur
Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.